Chapter 18 – whaaat, again?! Yep, let’s continue previewing Elvenar Chapter 18 chapter. You may want to start with out Research Preview, but today we will be talking about guest race production setup. So let’s take a look at what is speculated so far – of course, anything you find here is subject to change. Or it might be entirely made up. You have been warned 😉 So without further ado, let’s preview settlement production in Elvenar Chapter 18.
POTENTIAL SPOILER ALERT! Now, if the intro above didn’t get the message across 😉 The following post is potentially a one giant spoiler for the upcoming chapter. So if you don’t want to spoil this until it hits actual beta or live servers, you should stop reading just about now. Or if you just don’t like engage in rumors and speculation, you should press that Back button now. You have been warned!
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So here is how guest race production setup looks like:
This looks more complicated than production cycle for Chapter 17. Well, that’s primarily because we have a lot of guest race goods here – 14, to be exact. However, there are no circular dependencies like the last time around, so it should be easier to unpack 😉 So let’s do just that down below!
OK, so far we don’t know the names of production buildings, so we’ll be using the code names for now. So buildings are gray shapes in the diagram. Elvenar, Humans and Elves are capped portal resources (orange in the diagram), while Medals (yellow), Elements (pink) and Badges (red) items are uncapped guest race resources. Badges (in red) are the only guest race resources that are used in the tech tree, so this is the ultimate production item. Blue items are production functions of particular buildings. And finally, green items are basic resources that are used as inputs into this whole production engine. As you can see, we will only need mana and ascended T7/A1 goods for that.
So keep in mind that you will get only Elvenar, Humans and Elves when dropping Portal Profits! And in this case, these are pretty much inputs into the production. You will need badges for research and you will have to produce these and therefore also intermediate goods. PPs are not going to help with that.
So this time around we have 3 groups of guest race production buildings. GR Pop buildings will produce Elvenar, Humans and Elves (capped resources). Then there are 4 different GR Elemental buildings (Water, Fire, Wind and Earth) that produce intermediate resources like 6 different medals and corresponding elements. And finally, portal converts different medals into badges, and badges is the ultimate resource that you will use to unlock research in Chapter 18.
Oh, and we get settlement-specific streets again in this chapter. We haven’t seen those for quite a while, as most of the recent settlements worked on set mechanics, e.g. had to be directly touching. Here you need to link settlement buildings with portal using settlement streets (same as back in e.g. Dwarves).
[C18 GR Pop]
There is only one building that produces Elvenar, Humans and Elves, codename GR Pop:
There are no upgrades, so what you see is what you get.
GR Pop buildings are relatively small at 3×3 and are not extremely expensive (but not super-cheap either). However, as discussed below, I see no reason in putting any of these up at all, so costs are kinda irrelevant.
So here is how base production looks like without any boosts:
GR Pop buildings feature continuous production without any inputs on 24h cycles, with early pickup available at 3h mark. You will have to toggle which good you do want to produce – Elvenar, Humans or Elves. So the whole setup is very similar to how Advanced Trader produces seeds and unurium.
Now, I expect this to be one of the most useless buildings in the game. It is completely replaceable with Portal Profits. The only reason to build any of these is if you for whatever reason want to save on PPs. And at most, you’ll need ~1,400% worth of PPs for the whole chapter. Let’s even round it up to 2,000% given that you don’t get L4 portal right away. I can imagine most players in Chapter 18 should be able to comfortably spend that amount. And if you can, there is absolutely no reason to build any of these except perhaps if there are any quests for that (for those who care). I certainly don’t plan on building any.
Intermediate Goods Production Facilities
As I mentioned above, there are 4 types of intermediate goods production facilities – Water, Fire, Wind and Earth. These all look very similar, so it makes sense to look at them together.
Each of these buildings have 3 levels of upgrades. These are fairly sizable at 28-30 squares each, and not exactly cheap. We can ignore Elvenar/Humans/Elves requirements as these would be simple PP drops. L2 and L3 upgrades will require elements (Water/Fire/Wind/Earth) produced in the same buildings. You will also need a good chunk of sentient goods for construction and upgrades, but none of that should be a significant problem for Chapter 18 players.
Now, we will need ascended goods – ascended planks to be exact – for both construction and all the upgrades. As we don’t know yet how these goods will be produced, it is hard to say if this will be a problem. Maybe, maybe not. Watch this space, we’ll post updates when there is more clarity on the issue.
And we’ll discuss a bit later, it seems you would want to place as many as you can, unless you want to spend very long time gathering guest race resources. At 3 of each (12 total), you’ll need 3-4 months of production in these facilities to complete the chapter.
Apart from the size, costs are fairly manageable. The big unknown is ascended planks that will be needed for all of them. And it might be a bottleneck.
So here is how L1 production looks like (with no other boosts).
As you can see, production is pretty symmetrical across different types. There are two stages here. One is elemental production – Water/Fire/Wind/Earth. These run on 8h cycles, and only require base resources as inputs. And by base we mean mana and ascended goods (T7/A1).
Second stage produces different medals on 4h cycles, and those take elemental resources from the previous stage plus Elvenar/Humans/Elves. Well, the latter do not matter much because of Portal Profits.
Portal for Chapter 18 produces Badges, which are used for unlocking research. Here is some information on leveling up the Portal – dimensions, caps, production times and construction / upgrade costs:
This time around we only have 2 research items to unlock to get every level here (L1/L2 right away, and L3/L4 a bit later). It still might take a while to get to the max upgrade. And yeah, we get dimension changes with every single upgrade. This is annoying, but given that we have settlement streets to connect it’s not that bad. And even at L4, this portal is smaller than most in the recent history.
Construction costs are mostly fine. Sentient requirements are relatively high, but nothing that Chapter 18 city won’t be able to handle. And in this chapter, you will be primarily spending sentient goods on upgrades, so not much is needed for anything else. Capped goods requirements can be easily met with Portal Profits.
Which leaves us with a big unknown in ascended steel. You’ll need some non-trivial amounts starting from L2, so depending on how easy/difficult it is to get it, this might be a problem. Or not. We’ll see 😉
So here is how portal production looks like (no other boosts):
Chapter 18 portal production is a little different than what we’ve seen before. It is slotted queue production, and that part is not unusual. We get 5 slots, and all 5 are available from the very beginning at L1. And each slot takes 1h to complete, for the complete queue taking 5h at L1. But as we upgrade portal, we don’t increase production. Instead, each slot production time drops as the levels go up. All the way down to 24min at L4.
Sounds like a wash, right? Well, not really. You may already see a problem with that. Even at 5h queue most people will have some slippage, at least overnight. But at L4 the whole queue takes only 2 hours! That’s right, unless you refill production queue within 2 hours, portal will go idle. 2 hours, really? We though that small ships in Chapter 17 were bad, but at least those had 3 hours productions. Here, you don’t have that option.
And you will need at LOT of badges, so idling portal will definitely have an impact. With 2 hour cycles many people will have noticeable intra-day slippage, nevermind overnight.
Well, if mana estimates prove to be accurate, this may not matter as mana would be the biggest bottleneck. See below on that.
So how long all this production is going to take? As usual, there is no certain answer, even conditional on no changes. Using only PPs for capped goods, and doing almost maxed out portal and other settlement productions point out to 3-4 months worth of production time. If true, then KPs are unlikely to be a bottleneck. And you can cut down on intermediate goods production time by expanding your settlement if you have a lot of space. You can’t do that with Portal, but you can in theory rush it with time boosts – but this is unlikely to be sustainable.
Other resources – regular goods, sentient goods, seeds, orcs shouldn’t be a constraint over those timeframes. Even ascended goods are probably fine, even though it is not certain at this point.
Everything is fine – except for mana.
Mana requirements, just as I mentioned in Research Preview, look stupidly high. It is possible that requirements are going to change, or that I have made a mistake. But here is quick and dirty estimate so that you can verify it yourself. If you find an error, let me know!
Alright, so here is how it goes. To complete all research in the chapter, you need 4,025 badges total. Badges are only produced in the portal, and no matter which production you choose, you will need 36 medals per single badge. So that’s about 145K worth of all types of medals, and for symmetry reasons you can expect roughly the same amount of each type.
Now medals are produced in intermediate producers, and no matter the producer and medal type, a single medal production gets you 20*1.6=32 medals and requires 8 elemental resources at L3 and max portal (10 and 4 at L1, and L3 having 2x multiplier and 1.6x coming from L4 portal). So that means that to produce 145K of medals you will need to run about 4,500 medal productions – which will require about 36K worth of elemental resources (water/fire/wind/earth). Again, for symmetry reasons we can assume roughly the same amounts of each.
Now elemental resources are also produced in intermediate producers, and no matter the producer and the element, a single elemental production gets you 20*1.6=32 elements and requires 44K worth of mana at L3 and max portal (10 and 22K at L1, and L3 having 2x multiplier and 1.6K coming from L4 portal). So that means that to produce requisite 36K worth of elemental resources you will need to run about 1,100 productions – which will require pretty much exactly 50mm worth of mana. This is just for badge production, and there are still straight up mana requirements for research, never mind for regular upgrades.
Get ready for a long haul
With those numbers and my mana production, it will take me more than half a year to produce required mana. This is even ignoring mana decay. While I might be able to increase my mana production somewhat, there is only so much that I can do, and the required time would still be ridiculous.
So if you wanted another excuse not to play this chapter… well, you know 😉 I though it would be impossible to be less enthusiastic about a chapter than I was about Chapter 17. I was wrong.
But hey, it’s possible that things will change. If we’re really lucky, it may even be for the better! 😉 Or course, it is also possible that I have made some errors in the calculations. Given that all these assumptions are sketchy to begin with that won’t be particularly surprising. Or I could be right, and we’re screwed 😉 Unfortunately, the last time I made similar statement – in Chapter 17 preview – I turned out to be exactly right. So we’ll see.
So this is it for now. Let me know what you think about this preview of Elvenar Chapter 18 guest race production in the comments below. Certainly let me know if there are other things that you know about the chapter. You can also check up the post about upgrades that are coming up.
Stay tuned! 😉
This Post Has 6 Comments
If mana is the limiting factor, that’s good news for owners of the blooming trader guild wonder. In C17, space for reseach good production is the limiting factor. That could be offset a bit by the BTG’s production boost.
But during the conversion from mana to badges in C18, the BTG would kick in three times (Mana to Elements, Elements to Medals, and Medals to Badges). A modest level 6 BTG with 12% bonus would boost the guest race production from 160% to 172% (from 100% to 112% in the portal itself), resulting in a combined Mana-to-Badge increaase to (112/100)*(172/160)^2 = 129%, which means the needed amount of mana is reduced to 77%. An ambitious level 30 BTG would boost by 40% for a combined Mana-to-Badge increase to (140/100)*(200/160)^2 = 219% or a mana-need reduction to 46%. If mana really is the bottleneck, BTG 30 can effectively cut the time spent in C18 in half.
On the other hand, if click frequency of portal productions is the limiting factor, the BTG can only effectively kick in at the Medals-to-Badges step and will not speed up the chapter as much.
That’s right, the more there are intermediate stages in production, the better BTG looks like. Too bad this is utterly useless wonder for when you’re NOT doing chapters. I don’t really see a case for building BTG up to L30+ – there are plenty of other wonders that you should be using those KPs on. And even for players who have built everything else which is more useful, nowadays you don’t just commit space and extra KPs – you have to contend with increased squad sizes in tournament and the Spire.
So I keep my BTG L6 as a relic of the past, but I don’t see a case where I will be upgrading it any time soon. Or more like never, unless something changes.
I have a bumblebee at level 31. It’s one of the most useful wonders ever.
No, no it’s not 😉
Yes. It. Is.
Had never needed BTG before Ch17, but did in the end build it at lvl1 to help settlement production. Will probably keep it and level it now for Ch18.